The train, the good ol’ Empire Builder, pulled in to Seattle’s King Street Station at 3pm. This time I have a friend, Adé, with me and I think stepping off the train for him was a neat thing. It’s his first train trip, and we went big with a full two-day ride through the beautiful northwest. That train ride alone is a big adventure, so the idea that things were just getting started must have been pretty neat. And lord did we start things off right.
A quick bus trip up to Fremont where our hostel was, and with slightly less crap in our bags we headed down to the water to meet Björn who invited us out on a friggin’ sailboat. Like, I’ve never been on a sailboat before. They’re big and complicated and always on the verge of falling over and killing everyone apparently, which Adé and I were reminded of a few times out on the water. But as with pretty much everything, if I have the chance to do it I will do it. That includes helping operate the boat, warning crew about water up ahead, and naturally taking off my clothes and going swimming in the chilly bay.
Sometimes you have to set the mood for the adventure in the first few hours, and drinking a Rainier with a clear view of Mt. Rainier in that cold-ass water probably did the trick. The night was spent in Ballard with tacos, cheap margaritas, appropriated Latino holiday decor, and more importantly new friends. Scamming our way onto probably(?) the right bus, we made it back to the hostel for a few hours of sleep before waking up early the next morning. Tomorrow, we’d be going into the woods.